What are you willing to sacrifice today to ensure your business' longevity? Many entrepreneurs are risking their health and relationships (consciously or not), but the smartest sacrifice could be your own sense of accomplishment. That satisfactory moment when everything feels right in your business is the very time you should be preparing for the future.

Disrupt Yourself author Whitney Johnson recently talked about this phenomenon on The EntreLeadership podcast. Here's an edited excerpt:

The highest performing companies that surpass their peers on all financial metrics are those that develop capabilities before they need them. They know they've been at the bottom of their [learning] curve, they are climbing to the top of their learning curve, and before they need it - when it doesn't feel like they need to do anything at all because their margins are expanding, their business is humming, they are may even be growing year-on-year - they decide to develop the capabilities that they'll need for the future. 

It means they are effectively disrupting themselves, because when you develop capabilities for the future, you are taking a slight step back potentially sacrificing short-term productivity in order to have long-term gains. 

Logically, it all makes sense, and corporations have to fight inertia, risk aversion and other politics to truly prepare for the next business climate.

We entrepreneurs, though, have to fight only one thing: satisfaction.

There is a supreme contentment in mastery, in knowing when the next check will arrive and for how much, in understanding your clients inside out and in establishing the closest thing we have to a routine. 

It is at that very moment where we have to tune into our vision and ask ourselves where we will realistically be 12, 24 and 36 months out. What tools will we need then? In traditional careers, disruption is something that takes people by surprise. In entrepreneurship, disruption should be built into the business plan - and it's always best when you do it to yourself.

Published on: Mar 16, 2016
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